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Valerie Jencks

Valerie Jencks

After studying human behavior and cultural stories through her Psychology and Anthropology majors at Knox College, Valerie Jencks completed her graduate training as a Marriage and Family Therapist at Northwestern University. For over twenty years as a narrative psychotherapist in Chicago, she has listened to clients tell their stories, helping them rewrite the ones that no longer serve them well.

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Success! How To Rewrite History sold 256 pre-orders by May 4, 2016, was queried to 31 publishers, and will be published by Motivational Press.
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How To Rewrite History

When Your Life Story Needs A Plot Twist

Through the experiences of others, learn to rewrite the stories you created in childhood that became the adult beliefs that get in your way.

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Manuscript

Self-Help Storytelling
60,000 words
75% complete
Chicago
10 publishers interested

Synopsis

The ability to create stories to explain our life experiences is hardwired in our brains. When those stories become beliefs that stifle our success and impede healthy relationships, it’s time to rewrite the stories. While this sounds simple, many people struggle with letting go of the beliefs they have held since childhood. 

“How to Rewrite History” features people who rewrote the childhood stories that became the beliefs in their adult lives that didn’t serve them well – the homophobic athlete who became a gay rights activist, the weakling girl who became a colonel in the army, the homeless drug addict who became a CEO - just a few of the inspiring stories shared in this book. 

As these stories unfold, readers are guided by writing prompts to explore their personal history, uncovering childhood beliefs that no longer work for them. By the end of the book, they are empowered with tools and inspiration to rewrite their own history.

Outline

How to Rewrite History explores the way people discover hidden truths when they give themselves the option to change. The book begins with two chapters on the importance of stories and storytelling. Then readers delve into the profiles of nine people who were stuck in a childhood belief that kept them unfulfilled and miserable until they made a shift that resulted in each one finding purpose and happiness. Following each story are writing prompts for the reader to address his/her own stuck childhood beliefs. Finally,  a summary directive for readers to rewrite their childhood stories that get in the way of their happiness and fulfillment. 

CHAPTER 1
It's called 'History' For a Reason: An introduction to the importance of stories and storytelling in human evolution. From cave paintings to emoticons, stories are our most valuable communication tool.

CHAPTER 2
Your Brain on Stories: Technological advances in the last twenty years allow us to see how our brain really works, and it turns out we are hardwired for stories! 

CHAPTER 3
A boy who was bullied by the 'big kids' and grew up to be an ultra marathoner 

CHAPTER 4
A homophobic college athlete who is now a gay rights' activist

CHAPTER 5
A girl who became an Army Colonel and confronted an international terrorist

CHAPTER 6
A homeless drug addict who is a corporate executive

CHAPTER 7
An abused wife who became a doctor 

CHAPTER 8
The abandoned son of a criminal who became a celebrity

CHAPTER 9
A factory worker who joined the Air Force and became a college teacher

CHAPTER 10
An alterboy who left the priesthood for love

CHAPTER 11
An artist coped with a life-changing accident

CHAPTER 12
Rewriting Your Own Story: Summarizing the exercises at the end of the previous chapters, readers will be provided with ideas and resources to share their rewritten stories!

Audience

Valerie believes the primary audience for this book will be her own age group - the Baby Boomers. This generation has navigated change from the Civil Rights Movement to the advent of the internet and smart phones, requiring them to face dramatic adaptations in ways few other generations have needed to. The idea of rewriting history is familiar and this book validates it.

From individuals who enjoy self-improvement books to book clubs seeking a conversation starter, readers will find “How to Rewrite History” to inspire discussion and provoke self-reflection, with useful prompts at the end of each chapter to explore their own personal stories.

This will also be a nice complimentary book to any treatment program for those recovering from addiction, eating disorders or trauma. It is inspirational rather than directive in its intent. Unlike other books currently on the market, this book does not require a leader to follow a specific curriculum, thereby allowing groups to use their own facilitator’s training and therapeutic expertise to guide the process.

Author


Valerie has been fascinated with people’s stories since she listened to her Filipino grandfather tell tales of being treated with honor in his homeland, contrary to the reality of racial inequity he encountered at the time of his immigration. In a bit of full-circle irony, she was invited in 2015 to speak on the importance of rewriting our personal stories and listening to the stories of others at TEDxIIT - her Filipino grandfather’s 1939 alma mater. 

Valerie continues to see clients in a small private practice in addition to speaking to professional and community audiences on the importance of narrative and rewriting stories. She has been frequently quoted as an expert in media such as Fox Business and Huffington Post and she will host the storytelling podcast "How to Rewrite History" beginning in June 2016. An active member of the midwest standup comedy and storytelling communities in her free time, Valerie performs regularly, finding life to provide ample content for her work on stage.  

Promotion

In addition to her private practice as a narrative family therapist, Valerie is a professional speaker who presents to professional and corporate groups across the country. Since the topic of this book is a subject on which Valerie is a recognized expert, she will promote the book to her audiences as an adjunct to her presentations.  Valerie is also regularly invited to guest on a variety of podcast and radio broadcasts and will promote the book on her own podcast “How to Rewrite History,” which debuts in June 2016.

Additionally, the book will be featured on its own website:
www.howtorewritehistory.com[1] and heavily promoted on social media, including the author’s personal Linkedin and Twitter accounts which have over a thousand followers. 
A unique appeal of this book is its appropriateness for those who are in outpatient and residential treatment programs recovering from eating disorders, addiction or trauma. Valerie has already reached out to several programs who have expressed and interest in having her present the book at their facilities. 

The funds from this pre-sale campaign will be used for professional editing and design, marketing and first run publication. Proceeds from subsequent book sales will go towards the publication of the specialty companion books for recovering addicts, divorced families, LGBTQ and teens. First run publication is anticipated for June 2016.

[1]: http://www.howtorewritehistory.com/

Competition

Stories and storytelling are HOT right now. It’s hard to peruse a social media newsfeed and not see someone blog about it. There are conferences, workshops, college courses and bar room open mics dedicated to people’s stories. There are even several best-selling books on the subject:

Much success of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series by Jack Canfield lies in the hardwiring of the human brain. That’s not to say the author wasn’t masterful in his ability to compile compelling tales, but the books’ direct invitation into personal stories instigates a complex, albeit ancient, physiological response in each reader, creating excitement and anxiety – connection and empathy. That is exactly what the stories in this book will do. Beyond that, the author introduces readers to therapeutic techniques designed to help them examine and change their own stories and beliefs.

In her book "The Message of You," Judy Carter, a standup comedian and speaking coach, teaches a step-by-step format to capture a story about a life challenge in order to deliver engaging presentations. While the concept of telling a story to deliver a message is reiterated in “How to Rewrite History," unlike Judy's emphasis on public speaking, this book focuses on telling stories for fulfillment and self-improvement.

Brene Brown has seen a viral embrace of her TED talks on vulnerability and shame, in addition to her books "Daring Greatly" and "Rising Strong." The popularity of her work lies in its simplicity and universal message that humans have the ability to change their lives by shifting their beliefs about themselves - the guiding principle in psychotherapy. "How to Rewrite History" parallels this idea by emphasizing the ability to achieve happiness through reframing the explanations we create for ourselves, which is the premise to rewriting our personal histories.

10 publishers interested
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  • Update #7 - Where's the book?!? Nov. 21, 2016

    Hi Everyone! I would bet that some of you are asking this very question! Well, here is where we're at: cover redesign, audio recording, and ...


  • Update #6 - The Process June 30, 2016

    Good morning! I wanted to update you on the book! It looks like I am still on target for a fall publishing. Heavy into edits ...


  • Update #5 - Signed with a publisher today!! May 25, 2016

    Hello! I am very pleased to announce that I signed a contract with a publisher this morning! After weeks of interviewing publishers and literary agents ...


  • Update #4 - WE DID IT! May 2, 2016

    Good morning! Thanks to all of you, we reached the preorder goal and the book has been forwarded on to prospective publishers. I have been ...


  • Update #3 - 15% to goal and 9 interested publishers April 30, 2016

    I spent much of this week editing and pushing for the last needed preorders. Once this campaign reaches 250, Publishizer will forward the book to 42 ...


  • Update #2 - 50% and 7 interested publishers! April 18, 2016

    THANK YOU for supporting this book! The campaign hit 50% of the goal and seven publishers are interested, with 16 days still left for pre orders. Your support has ...


  • Update #1 - 25% in one week!! April 10, 2016

    Last weekend, I attended TEDx at Illinois Institute of Technology as an audience member - exactly one year since I delivered the talk "How to Rewrite ...


  • Scott Westerman on April 5, 2016, 11:11 p.m.

    I just ordered my signed copy and I can't wait to read the book! Passing along to my friends who should also pick up a copy for my friend Valerie Jencks! A fellow Knox grad and a great person. Her story is inspiring and you will love it!

  • Jill Morgenthaler on April 6, 2016, 12:15 a.m.

    Everyone has those inner doubts. This book helps you rewrite your story and your life!

  • maggie dipietra on April 6, 2016, 12:48 p.m.

    Loved the TED talk - looking forward to the book!

  • Ellen Barnard on April 6, 2016, 1:08 p.m.

    You go woman! I love the premise and look forward to reading the book.

  • lynn smith on April 6, 2016, 1:29 p.m.

    I ordered one ebook and one print! Can't wait to read it and very excited for you Val!
    Lynn

  • Andrea Kolczynski on April 6, 2016, 2:08 p.m.

    One for me, one from my daughter!😍 Good luck, Val!

  • Jane Welcome-Bestler on April 6, 2016, 4:41 p.m.

    Ready to re-write my history. Very excited to receive and read my copy. Way to go Val. Best of luck to my favorite Virgo.

  • Monica Hart on April 6, 2016, 7:03 p.m.

    I'm very proud of you for accomplishing your goal of writing a book!!!!

  • john eagelston on April 8, 2016, 4:19 p.m.

    Can't wait for my copy! Great Job Val!

  • Diane Hill on April 8, 2016, 10:08 p.m.

    So excited to read this!!! You are amazing!❤️

  • SueAnn Del Vicario on April 9, 2016, 3:36 a.m.

    Just ordered my book! Can't wait to read my signed copy!!

  • Ellen Calamos on April 10, 2016, 8:08 p.m.

    Cannot wait to read it!!

  • sheldon Isenberg on April 11, 2016, 1:42 a.m.

    Happy to help get book published

  • Laura Bristow on April 11, 2016, 4:15 p.m.

    Way to go Val! And good luck! Love, Laura

  • Karen Jacoby on April 11, 2016, 11:26 p.m.

    I am looking forward to reading this book! The idea that you can rewrite your history - your perceptions- of your history is so powerful.

  • Laura Adams on April 13, 2016, 1:02 a.m.

    Can't wait to read it! Congrats Val!

  • Terri O'Connor on April 13, 2016, 1:35 a.m.

    Congratulations Val!! Sharing with my colleagues,,,,xo

  • Denise Medina on April 17, 2016, 2:03 p.m.

    Wonderful! Congrats! I can't wait to read this book!!!

  • Genie Prokaski on April 17, 2016, 5:39 p.m.

    Congrats Val! Can't wait to read it.

  • Lee Constantine on April 19, 2016, 5:16 a.m.

    Looking forward to reading theses stories.

  • Karen Karcher on April 22, 2016, 2:48 p.m.

    Go Val!

  • Katie Gillespie on April 22, 2016, 2:48 p.m.

    Can't wait to read it :).

  • Sara Moss on April 22, 2016, 3:48 p.m.

    You go!!!

  • Ranjit Souri on April 22, 2016, 8:30 p.m.

    Looking forward to reading this. My life story needs a plot twist.

  • Chris Trani on April 22, 2016, 9:56 p.m.

    Go, Val, go!

  • Amy Segami on April 26, 2016, 3:32 a.m.

    As the founder of TEDxIIT, I am so proud that you move on from the platform to Publishizer. You are going to help a lot of people how to rewrite their history and live the life they would like to live, in stead of being the consequence of the past. That's Infinite Impact!!!!

  • Marge Kielczynski on April 26, 2016, 4:49 a.m.

    Let's get going-HER story

  • Steven Springer on April 26, 2016, 5:22 a.m.

    Can't wait to read the book. Great picture.

  • Allen Green on April 26, 2016, 5:26 a.m.

    You rock Valerie!

  • Lisa Bayer on April 26, 2016, 2:33 p.m.

    Can't wait to receive my book and share your story twist with others!

  • Robert Baittie on April 26, 2016, 9:13 p.m.

    Congratulations Val!

  • Stuart Scotten on April 26, 2016, 9:48 p.m.

    Looking forward to my plot twist!

  • Sarah Hanson on April 26, 2016, 11:26 p.m.

    This is fabulous Val. Can't wait to read it. Congratulations!

  • Diane Newell on April 27, 2016, 3:22 p.m.

    So looking forward to reading this Val!

  • Carla Chludzinski on April 28, 2016, 2:17 p.m.

    What an accomplishment, Val! And what a labor of love..... Carla

  • Sharon Ammen on April 28, 2016, 3:19 p.m.

    An amazing woman--this book is bound to be wonderful--order it if you can!!

  • Robin Kneffel on April 29, 2016, 8:30 p.m.

    You go girl!! I know it will happen!

  • Claudia Dery on May 1, 2016, 2:15 a.m.

    Just pre-ordered my copy Val and am sending love and congrats on this latest accomplishment!

  • Peggy Fletcher on May 1, 2016, 2:27 p.m.

    Better late than never! My sincerest "Best of Luck". I admire all you've accomplished these past few years! You make your fifties look fabulous!!!

  • Dianne Morr on May 1, 2016, 4:49 p.m.

    After hearing you speak and learning your story, I can't wait to read this book!

  • Barb Moore on May 2, 2016, 2:50 a.m.

    You rock!

  • Mary Osborne on May 25, 2016, 6:32 p.m.

    Congratulations on writing a fascinating book and getting published, Val! Both accomplishments are very difficult to achieve and took a lot of perseverance, no doubt. Looking forward to my copy!

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